Several years ago, I adapted my grandmother’s recipe for Spanish rice to a cauliflower version. It tastes great, and I often use it as a rice replacement. However, turnips can also be riced, and they have wonderful flavor in a risotto, so I decided to try a green chili rice using turnips. This came out very well although the color may not be the prettiest. This came from the ranchero beans I added to it. Next time, I might try black beans that don’t have any sauce with them.
For this version, I added the beans, chopped up baby corn, and onions. I used a small can of Herdez Green Chili Salsa, but you can use any green chile salsa or green enchilada sauce
These also reheat well, work as a filling for a burrito, and go well with eggs. Give them a try; you might love them. Next up, I think I’ll try them with tomatoes in the regular Spanish rice.
Green Chili Riced Turnips
2 medium Turnips (about 2 cups)
1 4 oz. can of Green Chili Sauce or Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
1/2 Onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Garlic, minced
1/2 cup of black beans, drained
1/3 cup of Baby Corn, drained & chopped
1 teaspoon Taco Seasoning
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
Peel turnips, cut into pieces, and process in food processor until they are the size of rice grains.
In a pan, add 1/3 tablespoon olive oil, chopped onions and 1/2 teaspoon garlic. Sauté until onion and garlic are fragrant. Add the riced turnips and stir together.
Add 1/2 cup hot water with bullion mixed in to the turnips mixture. Reduce heat to simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes. Add the taco seasoning, black beans, and green chiles. Stir in can of green chile sauce.
Cook until thoroughly heated, turnips are tender, and the liquid is reduced to a thick sauce.
Makes six 1/2 cup servings.
If you try this recipe, post your thoughts on this page. I’d like to hear from you.
For those who like a reason to celebrate, Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner. That’s May 5th for anyone who doesn’t read enough Spanish to know. It’s a great celebration day for Mexico, but also just a good reason to raise a margarita in their honor and indulge in Mexican food. Of course, if you’re trying to stick to your low carb lifestyle, this presents some challenges.
One of our Reno Mexican restaurants has a sugar-free orange margarita made with Crystal Light that is not bad at all. If you’re making them at home, you can buy Skinny Syrup sugar-free margarita mixes in syrup form from Amazon. They also have a mojita mix if you prefer that flavor. Or you can find recipes on line for sugar free to make at home, like this one for a Skinny Margarita.
But moving along to the food, it is difficult to eat out and not indulge with more carbs than you want in your meal. Some dishes, like fajitas are not bad in carbs, but the tortillas, beans, and rice will really slam you, so best to avoid going out unless you can say no to the side dishes and just make something at home.
Here’s a plug for my low carb LC15 cookbooklet, Mexican Food for a Low Carb Lifestyle. This booklet has over 15 recipes for tried and true Mexican or Tex-Mex dishes that will satisfy your need for spice. At only 99-cents, this will give you main courses and side dishes with easy to follow instructions. I didn’t go into the desserts but I do have a recipe for flanon this website .
As a reminder, if you’re looking for low carb flour tortillas, most stores carry La Tortilla Factory or Mission flour tortillas in the low carb version. These vary from 3 net carbs to 6 net carbs per tortilla, so be sure to check the package for the carb count. For corn tortillas, I haven’t found a low carb offering, but I do have this recipe that is similar, golden flax meal tortillas.
While a few of my recipes from the book are on this website, most of them are exclusive to the booklet. If you prefer a book you can take to the kitchen and scribble notes in, the booklet is included in the 3-in-1 paperback book with Breakfast Choices and Magic Muffins for just $4.99. You can buy it here.
Grilled Pork and Apricot Tacos with Avocado Crema
Now, for a new recipe that I tried last week, here’s a very tasty pork taco with an apricot salsa. This can also be made with peaches. I settled on apricot because I had some in my freezer and I couldn’t find a ripe peach at the grocery store. Using fresh is better than a frozen fruit that doesn’t look quite as attractive, but it tasted very good.
1 large (8 oz) boneless Pork Loin Chop, about 1/2 inch thick 1/2 tsp. Chipotle Powder 1/2 tsp. Cumin 1/4 tsp. Oregano 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder 1/8 tsp. Coriander 1/8 tsp. Allspice 1/2 teaspoon Salt 1/4 teaspoon Freshly ground Black Pepper 1 tbsp. Olive Oil, divided 1 Avocado, diced 1/4 cup Sour Cream 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper 1 Peach or 2 Apricots, chopped 1/2 Green Onion, finely sliced Juice of 1 lime, divided 1 1/2 tbsp. freshly chopped Cilantro 1/2 tsp. Sugar Substitute 4 Low-carb Flour Tortillas Cilantro leaves, for serving (optional)
In a large bowl, add chopped apricots or peaches, shallots, cilantro, sugar substitute, 1/2 the lime juice, and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Mix together well and season with salt and pepper to your taste. Cover and chill until ready to use.
In a big bowl, add chipotle powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, coriander, and allspice and salt and pepper. Mix all together, then add the pork and cover it the seasonings on both sides. Let sit while you mix the avocado crema.
Using your food processor, add the chopped avocado, sour cream, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and the rest of the lime juice. Blend until it is smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides with a silicone spatula if necessary. Set aside.
Grill pork chop on an outdoor grill or in your grill pan for three minutes. Turn to grill the back side for another two to three minutes until the pork is done. Let rest a few minutes, then slice thinly.
Heat the tortillas on the grill or in the grill pan until they are hot. You can also do this over an open gas flame allowing them to blister or bubble, then flipping to the other side. Top each tortilla with 1/4 of the avocado crema, then the pork, and top with the salsa.Garnish with cilantro if you wish.
Makes 4 tacos.
My picture at the top shows the taco with a scoop of riced turnips with green chile, corn, and beans. I’ll share that recipe next week.
I promised I would do this and here it is. Just in time for this year’s Kentucky Derby on May 4th, I adapted this decadent recipe for a fabulous cheesecake celebrating the event. I made it for Easter and can attest to the incredible flavors of the dessert. In addition to changing certain ingredients to low carb ones, I did add a couple of things to the original recipe. For those who would like the full carb version, you can find it here on the Tasty.co web site.
One thing you will absolutely need to make this is a brown sugar replacement. I used a combination of LC-Foods Sweet Brown and Swerve Sugar Replacement Brown, both of which are 0 carbs. You could use all Swerve Brown as it is most like brown sugar where LC-Sweet Brown is a powder and doesn’t have the texture of brown sugar. Swerve is available at Amazon, maybe Wal-Mart, and through Netrition.com (also LC-Sweet Brown). Truvia also has a brown sugar blend that has 1 net carb per 1/2 teaspoon but also says you use half as much as you would use of brown sugar. I haven’t tried it, but I would assume that if you use it, you use 1/4 cup of Truvia in place of the 1/2 cup.
I made a small 7″-spring-form-pan cheesecake as the larger one is too much for a two-person household. Cut into eight slices, the piece is large enough for a reasonable dessert and as rich-tasting as this is, the smaller serving is enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Here’s a hint though. I made this with an almond flour crust standing in for a graham cracker one, but it would work perfectly well without the crust and save 1.5 net carbs on the total carb count. Next time, I plan to omit the crust.
Derby Bourbon Pecan Cheesecake
Original Recipe by Matthew Johnson
Low Carb Adapted by Rene Averett
1 cup Almond Flour
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar Substitute
1/4 cup Butter, melted
8 oz Cream Cheese, at room temperature
2 oz. Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup Sugar Substitute
2 tablespoons Almond Milk
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 tablespoons Low Carb Flour
3 teaspoons Bourbon Whiskey, divided
1/2 cup LC-Sweet Brown or Swerve Brown Sugar Substitute
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 Egg Yolks
1/3 cup Sugar-free Maple Syrup,
1/4 cup Cream, warm to the touch
2 tablespoons Butter, cold
1 cup roasted Pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C). Prepare the spring-form pan with parchment paper over the base. Spray the pan with baking spray.
Prepare your ingredients and have them ready ahead of time. This actually goes together pretty quickly.
For the Crust:
In a small bowl, add the almond flour, 1/4 cup sugar substitute, and melted butter. Mix together with a spoon, then spoon into the bottom of the spring-form pan and press it to cover the bottom and about half-way up the sides.
Bake for about 10 minutes to set up and lightly brown the dough. Cool.
For the Filling:
Add the cream cheese, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup sugar substitute, and almond milk into a large bowl. Beat until blended and fluffy-looking.
Spoon in the sour cream, low carb flour, teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of Bourbon (more if really want to taste it), and two eggs. Mix on low until the filling is smoothly blended.
Pour the mixture over the almond flour crust in the spring-form pan. Bake for one hour, then turn the oven off and let sit for 30 minutes in the oven.
While the cheesecake is sitting for 30 minutes…
Make the Topping
Add egg yolks, sugar-free Maple Syrup, and warm cream to a bowl and stir together.
In a medium saucepan, add brown sugar substitute, cornstarch, and salt then stir together and put it on a low heat setting on your stove. Add the egg and cream mixture to the pan.
Cook over low heat until the mixture thickens to a pudding texture, around 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in the cold butter and a teaspoon or two of bourbon, depending on how much you prefer.
Fold in the chopped pecans, mixing them through. Pour the mixture over the cheesecake while it is still in the spring-form pan. Spread to make an even layer over the top. (Mine dipped in the middle a little so that well of pecan is thicker.)
Put in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours and allow the topping to set up firmly. Remove the spring-form pan and slide the cheesecake off the parchment paper onto a serving plate if you want it for a formal presentation.
Serve either chilled or let come to room temperature if you wish. Sometimes the higher temperature will bring the flavors out more.
Makes eight delicious servings.
Note: A word about the roasted pecans. These are easy to roast in the oven ahead of time by spreading them out on a layer of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Pour melted butter (about 1/4 cup over the top) and put in a 300 degree (F.) oven for about 8 to 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. However, it isn’t necessary to roast the pecans unless you really want the roasted taste. You can just use raw pecans chopped up.
If you try this, let me know how you like it. I’d love the feedback.
Recently, this recipe came around on my Facebook feed as one of those tasty, simple-to-make appetizers that work well for a party. The original recipe said to fry them in fryer– you can do that if you’d like, but I wanted mine to be a little lighter and without the extra oil flavor, so I decided to bake them.
To make this low carb required only one change, swapping out regular flour for low carb flour. In my case, I used Bakesquick, but you can use whichever one you prefer, such as almond flour or CarbQuick.
While I simply dropped my batter on a parchment paper, you can also put these in mini cupcake pans with papers so they retain a more compact shape. This is a versatile recipe and you can easily swap in cauliflower for the broccoli, add peppers, or other spices to it to personalize your bites.
Broccoli Bacon Bites
1/2 cup Bacon, chopped
3 cups Broccoli, chopped (or Cauliflower)
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Water
1 teaspoon Pepper
2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Green Onions, chopped
1/2 cup Low Carb Flour
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F.) Prepare a baking pan with parchment and spray with oil.
Put broccoli in a microwaveable bowl, add salt and water. Microwave for 3 minutes until almost tender. Drain.
In a bowl, put all the ingredients and mix together well. Use a small scoop to form balls and place each on the parchment-covered baking pan.
Cook for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown.
Remove to serving plate and put out a bowl of Ranch Dressing for a dipper.
Makes 40 to 45 bites. (I got 42, but some were quite a bit larger than the rest.)
Last night, I made a quick dinner using Green Giant’s frozen Riced Cauliflower Risotto Medley with Aidell’s Chicken with Gruyere Sausage in it. While I had a busy day yesterday, the deciding factor in making this meal was that the freezer tossed the risotto package back out on the floor when I put it in, and I didn’t notice. So, when I found it, I had a bag of thawed, but still cold, risotto. It’s not a big production to make, but it’s a good example of how you can manage a delicious quick meal on a low carb diet.
Now, if you want to start from scratch with the riced cauliflower, you can make it by running the cauliflower through the food processor, then chopping about a quarter cup of mushrooms and about three stalks of asparagus up finely. You will need to cook this a little longer than you would the frozen one that is already cooked.
In a large skillet, add the oil, then add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant. Add the cauliflower medley. Stir for about three minutes, then add the chicken, cream, and about a quarter cup of water. Heat the mixture to a boil, then lower the temperature to a medium simmer. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
Serve with a salad or other side dish. I used a broccoli salad from the grocery store.
Makes 3 servings.
Do you have a recipe that you would like for me to try to adapt to low carb? If so, let me know in the comments and I’ll tell you where to email it.